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Zimbabweans Protest Outside Country's Embassy in Pretoria


A group of about 100 Zimbabweans are protesting outside their country's embassy in Pretoria Wednesday over the delay of Zimbabwe's presidential results.

Later today, they are expected to march through the South African capital to government and United Nations offices to hand over letters of protest.

Meanwhile, the U.N. Security Council is scheduled to discuss the issue of Zimbabwe's post-election crisis with members of the African Union.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on Zimbabwe to release the results of its March 29 presidential elections.

South African President Thabo Mbeki is chairing the meeting. His country holds the rotating presidency of the Security Council, and has opposed discussion of Zimbabwe, saying it is a regional matter.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown also will attend, as will representatives of France and the United States, all of whom have expressed interest in raising the issue.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change says its candidate, Morgan Tsvangirai, defeated President Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe's presidential election. Independent monitors say Mr. Tsvangirai finished on top in the election but may have fallen short of the majority needed to avoid a run-off.

South African media Tuesday quoted Mr. Tsvangirai as saying his party would take part in a run-off if it was conducted by the South African Development Community, a bloc of regional countries.

The opposition tried to organize a national strike Tuesday to protest the absence of election results, but most Zimbabweans went to work as usual, saying they had not heard about the strike, or could not afford to stay home. Others feared a crackdown by government security forces.

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